It was just three years ago, almost to the week back in 2011, when an 18-year-old Kyrie Irving took to the basketball floor for the first time in what was a three-month span. Having sustained multiple torn ligament in his right big toe, Irving, one of the college game’s most heralded prospects, rejoined his team during the men’s Division I tournament, one of the most celebrated win-or-go-home stretches of play in all of sport. As Irving’s teammates filled in admirably in his absence, lifting the Duke Blue Devils to the top seed in the region, questions surrounded his decision to return—team chemistry notwithstanding, with an NBA paycheck in his not-so-distant future, was Irving risking too much by lacing them back up?
I had really low expectations heading into Friday’s game. I couldn’t help it. The Cavs (9-13) entered the evening just 1-10 on the road and man, have they had some stinkers. They haven’t had the greatest track record of getting up for… less than stellar competition. They were blown out by the Hawks, they were never in it against Boston, and hell, even their one road win against the Wizards they needed a 15-point comeback, overtime and 41 points from Kyrie Irving to escape DC with their only road victory.
So when the Cavs were down double digits in the first quarter and my cable went out, I wasn’t really sure how upset I was. Sure, I wanted to watch the game, but the Cavs let Orlando get 17(!!) fastbreak points in the first quarter. This had all the markings of another road stinker and with LeBron and the Heat looming on Saturday, the basketball weekend looked bleak.
But the Cavs persevered. They cut down on their unforced turnovers in the second quarter (which, go figure, helped keep the Magic out of transition) and, despite Mike Brown, turned up their offense. Cleveland shot 63% from the floor the second quarter and they got a 17 point boost from second unit in the period. Oh, and that Kyrie guy added ten points of his own and the Cavs went into halftime trailing by a score of 51-50.
Irving added another 10 of his game-high 31 points in the third, Dion Waiters scored the Cavs’ first 14 points of the fourth and Cleveland’s young guards powered the Cavs’ to a 109-100 victory in Orlando. Rookie-of-the -Year candidate Victor Oladipo stuffed the stat box for Orlando with a 26-5-4-4-3 and Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo each scored 17 for the Magic, who fell to 7-16 on the season.
The Cavs have won five of their last six and look to continue their season long three game win streak tonight when they face the Heat in Miami (gulp). [Read more...]
When Earl Clark was the the No. 14 pick in the 2009 draft, he probably never expected to be in this position four years later. But here he is now, a 25-year-old with the opportunity to provide depth and length to the young Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cavs general manager Chris Grant still has more work to do this offseason with over $15 million left in cap space and several other roster holes to fill. But Clark was a nice first free agency move after his most productive NBA season.
Looking back through Clark’s college and professional career, one can see how his athleticism and versatility have intrigued NBA executives. What remains to be seen is what he can contribute consistently on offense and where exactly he’ll play his minutes in 2013-14.
This article will serve as a primer on Earl Clark’s potential Cleveland impact through the eyes of varied articles from the past about this versatile forward. [Read more...]
While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at email@example.com.
This was a great story. Another little-known fact in Keith Dambrot’s amazing journey? He coached my brothers’ Jewish Community Center CYO team in the late ’90s, just before latching on with LeBron James at St. V-M, then heading back to Akron. What a coach: “Dambrot is driven by routine and superstition, and these walks are driven by his desire to still be making them almost decade from now. He’s 54, and he signed a 10-year extension with his alma mater last summer. He’s come face to face with his coaching mortality once, and before he hands off the reigns at Akron he wants to continue to both figuratively raise the ceiling for the program and, sometime soon, literally stick the shovel in the ground for a new arena.” [Zac Jackson/FOX Sports Ohio] [Read more...]
Goodness gracious, Cavs fans, this was a fun one. The good guys outscored the Magic 67-43 in the second half en route to a dominant victory Saturday night in Orlando, the team’s second largest win in the post-LeBron era (27 points vs. Bobcats on Feb. 6).
The tremendous road win also represents a complete turnaround for these two teams this season — the Magic started 12-13, but are just 3-29 since. That’s ironically the exact same streak that the Thunder had to start the season in Kevin Durant’s second year.
Also notable: The Cavs bench scored 59 points. Led by efficient scoring performances from Speights, Ellington and Miles, this shows the potential of this more complete Cleveland team. And boy, was this fun. The Cavs are now 13-14 in their last 27 games.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS – 18-37 (Won last 2)
ORLANDO MAGIC – 15-41 (Lost last 5)
What? The Cavs have another three game win streak? Two in one season? A guy could get used to these things.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 24 points (along with eight assists and six boards) and Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington came off the bench to score 18 and 14, respectively, and the Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic for the first time since the LeBron era, 119-108. Tristan Thompson added 16 points and Dion Waiters pitched in 15 as the Cavs upped their record to 16-34. Nikola Vucevic finished with 25 points and 13 boards and Arron Afflalo scored 23 to pace the Magic (14-36), who lost their twelfth in a row.
While giving up 108 points to an Orlando team without Big Baby Davis and JJ Redick isn’t exactly a crowning achievement, it’s hard not to feel like these young Cavaliers are turning a corner. Cleveland is 6-2 in their last eight games and 11-11 since beginning the season a dismal 5-23 (and 5-2 since Chris Grant flipped Jon Leuer for a Real NBA Bench and a pick). As much fun as it is to see Kyrie go off and the Cavs steal wins against the Bostons and Oklahoma Citys of the NBA, watching them take care of business at home against teams like the Bucks, Bobcats and Magic is the real sign of progress.
As I’ve been doing for years, The Boots are my way to assign Boot Up or Boot Downs to various items in the sports world. As a reminder, I got the nickname “Boot” from my older brothers when I was young, and thus, I continue to use this segment as my personal sports writing payback.
Boot Up: Addition of C.J. Miles — Yes, I like the move, but don’t read too much into it. The 25-year-old Miles has career averages of 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 51.2% true shooting in his seven-year career with the Utah Jazz. The free agent signing strikes me as a low-risk, high-reward move that can only help the Cavaliers at their weakest position: small forward. [Read more...]
HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy dropped a bombshell on Twitter about an hour ago with this nugget of information:
Three-team deal may send Dwight Howard to Lakers, Andrew Bynum to Cavs and picks/prospects/cap relief to Magic. Still trying to get details.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2012
Kennedy later expanded on that initial tease, posting an article with more details. In a possible trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cleveland Cavaliers would end up with Andrew Bynum, and the Orlando Magic would receive a number of picks and prospects. There were no further specifics about what the Cavaliers would give up in such a deal.
Kennedy cites sources close to the situation, but also says “while no trade is imminent, the talks are ongoing.” Kennedy is the only individual currently reporting discussions between the three teams.
In other well-circulated Howard-to-LA reports, David Pingalore (a former Cleveland reporter) of WKMG-TV in Orlando also cited sources Friday night that said the All-Star center will likely end up in Los Angeles. Pingalore’s sources appeared to be fairly adamant in saying that just “some crossing of T’s and dotting of I’s is only left” for Howard to land in LA with Kobe Bryant. Pingalore didn’t mention any possible trade partners for the two teams in his article.
7:33 p.m. Updates: Both ProBasketballDraft and Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico have confirmed through sources that trade discussions are taking place between Orlando, Cleveland and the Lakers. Let’s start first with the new information from ProBasketballDraft:
According to multiple sources Magic would likely get Anderson Varejao plus picks and prospects.
— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) July 14, 2012
This account also said the Cavs are looking for some type of confirmation that Bynum would extend. It also said that Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and LA’s Darius Morris would be two key prospects that could go to Orlando.
Later, Amico confirmed through his sources that a deal is being discussed. These sources also reiterated Cleveland’s emphasis to make sure Bynum would extend with the team. One of Amico’s folks also said that “Cavs, as usual, being a big pain” in their trade dealings, as he reported earlier in the week about the possible Brooklyn Nets situation.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers rumored to be the third team in a deal which would help the Brooklyn Nets land center Dwight Howard, latest reports say that the deal could hinge on the Cavs also acquiring second-year swingman Marshon Brooks.
With the Orlando Magic unwilling to take on power forward Kris Humphries, the Cleveland Cavaliers — with all of their salary cap space and short-term flexibility — were quickly added to the rumor mill as a third team to help facilitate a deal. ESPN reports that both the Nets and Magic are “cautiously optimistic” that the Cavaliers will indeed help finalize the long-discussed trade, but a key piece would also be the Cavs receiving the 23-year-old Brooks in the deal.
Although the Nets have made Brooks available, sources told ESPN that the Magic are not interested and he’s being shopped elsewhere, including Cleveland, to find a package that suits Orlando. The Magic have, to this point, turned down several trade proposals by the Nets, some including the Cavaliers who appear ready and willing to make a deal to acquire additional assets.
The 6-foot-5-inch Brooks averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Nets during his rookie year. Prior to the All-Star game, Brooks averaged 14.6 points and 4.3 rebounds, adding at least one steal and one three-point field goal per game.
I know it is old news. I also know that I am pulling a salacious quote from over an hour of audio that Brian Windhorst did with Jason Whitlock on his podcast. Still, it is very interesting for Cavs fans to consider that the Cavs might have been better off keeping their superstar player if they had fired the head coach after his team won 66 games and he was named NBA Coach of the Year.
Windhorst relayed to Jason Whitlock that he’s heard murmurs from LeBron’s camp that LeBron was less-than-pleased with the X’s and O’s that Mike Brown was putting on the board.
“That was the year that Mike Brown won coach of the year,” Windhorst said. “And LeBron was pretty much done with him then.” Windhorst went further still. “Someone really close to LeBron once told me, ‘Ya know if they’d fired Mike Brown one year early, he might still be in Cleveland.’”
Even if you’re a Cavs fan who is tired of LeBron talk, the conversation is fascinating and Windy again relays that he thinks LeBron’s time in Cleveland might not actually be done and highly doubts LeBron will finish his career in Miami.
Just for the record, Sam Amico reported (and was treated very skeptically by us and Windhorst) when he said the Cavs were split on Mike Brown’s future after the Cavs were bounced by Orlando in 2009.
|Percentages||.367||.389||.778||Team Rebounds: 9|
|C. Eyenga||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|D. Gibson||DNP – Inactive|
|R. Hollins||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|A. Parker||DNP – Inactive|
|T. Thompson||DNP – Inactive|
|Percentages||.425||.346||.694||Team Rebounds: 9|
|G. Davis||DNP – Inactive|
|J. Harper||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|D. Liggins||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|J. Nelson||DNP – Inactive|
|D. Orton||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|Q. Richardson||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
A spin-move off of Al Jefferson, a cross-over of Marcin Gortat and a high-pick split of the Boston Celtics defense which featured a 6-foot-8-inch Brandon Bass are moves that headline the first chapter of the first-overall pick’s career. But with all respect due to the aforementioned, Irving, on Friday night, will have to face a man who may potentially be the best post defender he may ever play against during his career in the NBA in the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard.
Despite his well-documented distractions, Howard continues to be a force in the paint, rarely playing nice with those smaller than him. Which is why Irving — a 191-pound point guard who relies heavily on slashing and weaving and bouncing his way toward the rim – can only smile and wonder what’s in store for him when the Cavaliers tip off against the once-vaunted Magic.
Alright, Cavs fans… Tell me if you think this sounds familiar:
” That was the bottom line and we have to find a way to [play hard] for 48 minutes. [...]
“The biggest thing is always, from a coach’s standpoint, that the one serious thing that I have control over is minutes. If guys are not playing as hard as I think they can play or should play, then (I will) just take them out and you put the second unit guys in there.”
The trade that brought Baron Davis to Cleveland was deemed logic-defying by some, but the man that many consider to be an overweight, unmotivated malcontent has done nothing but make the Cavalier coaching staff continue to heap praise his way.
Though he is questionable with back spasms that likely occured from playing too soon after missing time to tend to the recent passing of his grandmother, Davis’ work with the rest of the Cavaliers has resulted in head coach Byron Scott calling him his “fifth assistant coach.” Joining the ranks of fellow veteran Cavalier Antawn Jamison, Davis adds that experienced voice to a team of undrafted rookies and ocassional D-League signings.
The Cavaliers are 1-29 in their last 30 games, and despite those sad results, are forced to face the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat on the road for their next two games. There were some points of improvement in the team’s latest loss to the Denver Nuggets Friday night, but maybe not enough to compete for 48 minutes against two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.
Dwight Howard presented serious matchup problems for Cleveland last year, even with two future Hall of Famers and a former All-Star Lithuanian on roster. This will be the case again tonight against new center Ryan Hollins, but hopefully fans can look forward to continued production from Ramon Sessions and Antawn Jamison offensively.
Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott was recently fined $35,000 for his comments regarding NBA officials, specifically those in Friday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. Coaching in the league for what is now his 11th season, Scott had been dinged for smaller violations in the past, but never one of this magnitude.
Given this, Scott stated on Monday afternoon that he was unsure of how the league will go about taking their cut of his upcoming paychecks.
“You know I don’t know yet,” said Scott. “I’m going to have to find out myself. I don’t know if they take it out in increments or if they take it out in one big lump sum – they’re going to get it, period. It’s not like I can say ‘alright, Mr. Stern, I’m going to send you a check’ and then wait four or five months.” [Read more...]
Heading into a much-anticipated week where the Cavaliers play host to the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, they have not only won two of their last three games, but they played hard and competed in their 11-point loss to the Orlando Magic. And if there is a silver lining, or even a bright yellow lining, it is that fans will get to see a lot more of J.J. Hickson’s new shoes.
Discussed for what was the entirety of Saturday night’s 92-86 comeback win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Cavaliers forward J.J. Hickson wore what head coach Byron Scott called “some of the ugliest shoes he has seen in a long time.” Big, bright and yellow would be the easiest way to describe Hickson’s new kicks, the ones he called “Cheetos” after the game.
Yep, it’s that time of year again already. Once again, CelticsBlog are hosting the annual Blogger Previews for every team in the NBA. How this works is simple, every day a certain NBA team is up and bloggers who write about said team will offer their previews for that team in the upcoming season. Then, once a division is completed, all the bloggers throughout the NBA who are participating will post links for all the previews for that division.
Next up is the Southeast Division. All the previews are linked below, and I encourage everyone to take a few minutes, click on the links, and check out what writers from across the nation are saying about their own teams. As a reminder, our preview of the Cavaliers’ upcoming season can be found here.
Matt Barnes, the 30-year-old forward is a coveted free agent. That first sentence in and of itself should say a lot about what kind of position the Cavaliers are in right now. Cavs fans were marginally excited to pursue Barnes because he is 6’7″ tall. Why else would you possibly want to land Barnes? Well, because the Cavaliers might need to acquire another player or two. At this point that is my answer. Barnes is known for his toughness and defense, but chasing Matt Barnes is still a tough pill to swallow. Still, the Cavs need people to play minutes this season now that they lost 39 minutes per game from the small forward position. Barnes isn’t a bad player, but you might consider Barnes a good option if you already have an alpha dog on your team. I digress. Running down the career of a guy who appears to be another poor man’s James Posey isn’t the point of this post.
Yesterday Matt tweeted the following:
Nxt season I will b playing for the Toronto Raptors. I wanted to thank the fans in orl you guys were amazing the way u guys excepted
My family & I and the tremendous support you showed the team. Wish things could have went down alil different but thx for everything. B EZ!! [Read more...]
The Cavaliers organization is currently in an awful position. Strangled by the most famous 25-year-old in the world, the Cleveland Cavs already have had one of the worst post-seasons in franchise history. Highlighted by a tragically early playoff exit and the departure of the team’s general manager and head coach, basketball has not been fun a fun topic in the NBA’s Ohio home for the past few months.
In the meantime, there is no telling what could happen next for the Cavs team before the start of the 2010-2011 regular season. An entirely new starting lineup could potentially take the court on opening night compared to last year, and there is nobody else to point the blame for this entire predicament than LeBron James.
In order to truly see how this organization has changed for the worst in the past 12 months, it is best to imagine an alternate series of events. One where James picked up his team option for the soon-to-be upcoming season, enabling the franchise to breathe a little easier and re-load on the fly while never ever looking back.